Friday, April 30, 2004

Happy May Day (a day early) ...

Despite the fact that May Day started here, I'm willing to bet that 9 out of 10 Americans have no idea what it is (aside from a distress signal). Since it falls on a Saturday this year, which is already a holiday for this worker, I've done a little goofing off today in the name of the international working class.

Using an e-mailed question from a fellow WXDU dj ("what are some good songs to play for a world music show on May Day?") as an excuse to engage in purposeful time-wasting, I encountered a web page packed with links to audio files of The Internationale in various languages. What fun! Check out the Chinese rock version by the Tang Dynasty Band.

Also, something I learned that will probably never do me a bit of good: apparently the Italians always sing the song twice. It didn't say why.

It's interesting to note the difference in lyrics between this 1935(?) English version (RealAudio) and the "modern" Billy Bragg version (lyrics to both versions can be found here). Obviously Billy Bragg wants to make a bold left-wing statement ... he just doesn't want that statement to give anyone the impression that he actually supports a workers' revolution. So he rips off the communist anthem and changes the words to make it safe for commercial radio. Really radical, dude. That's stickin' it to the man.

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